The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is an annual event held by Apple in California. At their recent conference, in 2014, Apple announced the introduction of iCloud Drive. With a name like that, you can probably guess what sort of utility this is – just like Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive, this is Apple’s take on the ever-popular cloud storage.
iCloud Drive has been developed to enable users to store their documents in the cloud. Every app you use with the utility will get an individual folder and these are then synced across iOS, OS X and Windows. However, even if you don’t use any apps that make use of the system, you can simply just drop any sort of file or folder into it and it’ll be synced to all your devices.
This means you can load up a presentation on your iPad and make changes, then save it and have the updated file synced across to your Mac and iPhone. Wherever you go, you’ll always have the data you need.
The introduction of iCloud Drive also brings about a file browser to iOS, similar to what you’ll get on a Mac, but there isn’t actually a specific iCloud Drive app to go with it, which is odd. To find files that you’ve stored on the Drive, you’ll need to access an app that makes use of the storage space.
It’s actually surprising that it has taken Apple so long to release such a utility, but the saying goes that it is better late than never. Steve Jobs once claimed that Apple would destroy Dropbox with iCloud but, as you’re likely aware, that never came to fruition. In fact, back in 2011 when Jobs made such a statement, many found iCloud difficult to use and unclear. It had a lot of users signed up for it, but Dropbox were far, far ahead in the market.
Fast forward to the modern day and cloud storage is even more prevalent now. Countless applications and programs make use of the cloud to sync data across devices. With iCloud Drive, it seems that Apple have finally understood what users want out of a cloud program.
Every user who signs up for iCloud Drive will get 5GB free with their account. Apple is also selling 20GB of storage for $0.99 a month, 200GB for $3.99 a month and as yet hasn’t announced the pricing of other tiers up to 1TB.
According to the Apple website, access to some services is limited to 10 devices and some features require iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Additionally, some features are not available in all countries. No more specific details are provided.
Those in the Apple infrastructure will likely get great use out of the product, but there is no word on whether Android and Windows Phone developers will be able to integrate the storage system. Users with an Apple computer and an Android phone, for example, are unlikely to switch to iCloud Drive over something like Dropbox that supports both platforms.
iCloud Drive Overview
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